Case study – Baku

Optimising venue operations for the European Games


Our award-winning real-time location insight platform was used during the 'Baku Prepares' test event to monitor, log and understand customer movement in the Olympic Stadium for the European Games.

Meeting the Business Need

Movement Strategies (a London based pedestrian dynamics consultancy) were contracted by the Baku European Games Organising Committee to monitor pedestrian movement during the Olympic Stadium test event, and recommend actions to be taken prior to the opening ceremony. With only a small team on site, Movement Strategies needed to harness technology solutions to monitor, log and understand visitor behaviour, both within the stadium and during journeys to and from the site.


The Solution

Crowd Connected was contracted to provide a bespoke multi-language app for both iOS and Android platforms, for use during the test event. The Colocator SDK was integrated into the app which also included maps and information, custom real-time messaging and a location-aware survey feature. Bluetooth beacons were used within the stadium structure to allow location to continue to be tracked within the ‘GPS-less’ environment. The lightweight, battery powered devices were installed in only a few hours by Movement Strategies’ team using self-adhesive pads. Data from mobile phones with the app installed was transmitted to the colocator platform, where it was stream processed for both real-time analytics and post-processing. The Colocator web-based console was displayed on a big screen in the Stadium control room, providing real-time information such as journey-times, queue times and security screening processing rates.Key features of this deployment included:
  • Offsite tracking: By utilising GPS and cell network positioning in a very battery-efficient way, the system allowed transportation in and out of the stadium to be monitored in real time.
  • Indoor Positioning: By utilising beacons and patented cooperative positioning techniques, the Colocator platform allowed customer behaviour within the stadium to be monitored in a seamless way.
  • Discovered Devices: The Colocator platform uses app-installed smartphones as a mobile sensor network, capable of detecting and localising other Bluetooth discoverable devices that do not have Colocator software installed. This feature, allowing up to 10% sample rate with very low app install numbers, was vital to the Baku project.

Results

The Colocator data-sets were a vital part of the analysis of the effectiveness of stadium design and management. Valuable insight from the data included:

  • Journey Times: One of the key goals of the project was to understand the effectiveness of the transport network in getting visitors to and from the stadium. Travel times for each of the bus routes were provided in real-time in the Stadium control room.
  • Security Processing: The custom dashboard provided estimates of flow rates through the security screening areas, allowing real-time monitoring of performance. The real-time estimates were successfully validated using observation and infra-red counting technology.
  • Effectiveness of Communication: Post-event analysis was able to measure the effectiveness of communication with customers, who were asked to use a particular transport terminus depending on their ticket number.
This collaboration with Crowd Connected was a first for this type of complete journey insight on a single platform. The ability to capture this type of spectator behaviour and movement data opens up amazing opportunities to use detailed evidence to optimise the finer details of how venues are designed and operated. I foresee a time when this type of movement data is being used to optimise venue operations and interact with spectators in a much more dynamic way.

Russell Yell, Associate Director, Movement Strategies